Within this blog we will be covering all the key points to know about how long a tooth extraction takes to heal. This includes the time & stages of tooth extraction, how to speed up healing, and whether you extraction is healing correctly.
Tooth Extraction Healing Time and Stages
The time a tooth extraction takes to fully heal will largely depend on where the tooth was located, and the type of extraction that was performed. Typically, the healing time is between 7-10 days, although in more serious cases it is possible for healing to take between 2-3 weeks. The key stages of tooth extraction healing have been outlined below.
Stage One: This first stage comprises the initial 24 hours directly after the extraction and includes the formation of a robust blood clot. It is likely that there will be some discomfort, inflammation, and potentially light bleeding during this stage.
Stage Two: This stage involves the next 24 hours after stage one, and at this point the clot begins to properly form around the socket area. At this point the platelets within the clot have started to produce chemical factors which will encourage healing, while inflammation will begin to decrease.
Stage Three: By 3-4 days, this stage begins, and it will involve the early closure of the gum tissue around the extraction site.
Stage Four: This is the final stage, and it takes place around 4-7 days after stage three and 7-10 days after the initial extraction has taken place. At this point the extraction site has effectively fully healed, although it is possible that some extra time is needed in complex extraction procedures.
Speeding Up Healing
As mentioned before the healing process will vary based on where the extraction took place and the complexity of the extraction itself, although some tips to ensure the healing occurs swiftly have been detailed below.
- Immediately following the procedure, you can ice the area to minimise pain or swelling for around 15 minutes, and should wait around 15 minute intervals in between future ice pack use
- You should bite down on the gauze for 5-15 minutes after the procedure to ensure pressure is being applied sufficiently, and this should be repeated if it starts to bleed again.
- Once the first 24 hours after the extraction have passed then you can begin to use a warm saltwater rinse. This involves a teaspoon of salt and a glass of warm water and can be used daily.
- Any pain relief medication that has been given by the dentist should be taken as prescribed, otherwise you are able to purchase you own medication. However, check first with your dentist/doctor to ensure they won’t be problematic for the healing process.
Is the Extraction Healing Correctly
In many scenarios patients who have teeth extracted are unaware if their affected area is actually healing in the correct manner. You will be able to tell if it is healing correctly, if the first few days only involve some light bleeding, inflammation, and minor discomfort. Additionally, if you see some bruising around the area or stiffness in the jaw then this is perfectly normal. There may also be some small fragments of tooth/ root within the socket or sharp edge of the bony socket, which often clear and self-resolve. Help should only be sought if they don’t come out by themselves.
You will know that the extraction is healing correctly if there are noticeable improvements as the days pass by. You may even take pictures to monitor this and compare them will extraction healing pictures available online, to ensure that everything is normal. If you believe that your healing process is not occurring correctly then you should contact your dentist immediately. While in the majority of cases there is no issues, it will help put your mind at ease.